The Yser Medal & Yser Cross.

   On the 16th October 1914 the German III reserve corps began attacking the Belgian outposts east of the Yser. These were the opening moves of a concerted effort by the Germans to break through and turn the northern flank of the allied front held by the Belgian army - which was  positioned from the coast at Nieuport to Ypres via Dixmude, along the line of the Yser canal. Bitter fighting ensued along the whole front for many days but the Belgians led by their King Albert held their ground -at a cost - 60,000 men became casualties, one third their strength. This medal commemorates the Belgian "Battle of the Yser."

     The Medal was instituted on the 18th October 1918 for award to those who had fought along the Yser river between 17th - 31st October 1914. The medal could be awarded posthumously, and to Allied soldiers who would qualify under the same conditions as the Belgians.  A decree of 5th February 1934  gave the medal the new title of   "Yser Cross"  and a further decree of 22 August 1934 instituted the new design.
   Yser Medal:  
35mm diameter, bronze with an applied patina. Obverse depicts the figure of a male barring the way with a lance, and the dates 17 - 31 OCT 1914.  Reverse shows the Belgian lion, wounded in the flank, on the banks of the Yser, with the word YSER under. A small integral circular suspension medallion at 12 o'clock infilled with "river green" enamels bears the obverse inscription YSER, with a crown and "A" for King Albert on the reverse.
  Yser Cross:    The same design as above but with an cross pattée incorporated into the design, effectively giving the medal four projections of cross arms to the disk. (see illustration below)

Ribbon; black with a central orange stripe.


Yser medal 1914

Belgian Yser medal Belgium Yser Medal

Yser Cross

Belgian Yser Cross reverse

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